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Mottley: Come clean

Opposition Leader Mia Mottley said she is puzzled by apparent premature

statements on protests against layoffs from union leaders, and urged

executive of one workers’ organization to reveal what advanced information

it has on the pending


Addressing a People’s Assembly rally at St

Christopher School last night, she also made clear that her Barbados Labour

Party was not mobilizing for social and economic disruption, but educating

the people on current affairs.

“I’m hearing all kinds of things about the Labour Party inciting. We

are not inciting anything; we are educating, we are enlightening,” she said,

and added: “And the last time I checked, the Constitution passed by Errol

Barrow gave us that right to educate, to gather, and to talk.”

Dismissing any suggestion to the contrary, she said: “Nobody in Barbados

can benefit from social disruption. Not the Government, not the families, not

Bajans. And the Barbados Labour Party will not be part of that.”

On the other hand, she stoutly defended a need to protest current

conditions in Barbados.

“Nobody in Barbados either will benefit from remaining silent when

absolute nonsense, utter incompetence prevail, and when in some instances,

in my view, wickedness constitutes the behaviour of this Government in

relation to how it treats people, particularly by picking at those who can

least protect themselves, like those at the bottom of the working ladder in

this country.”

On the issue of expressing dissent, Mottley, described as another example

of breach of trust and confidence, Government’s failure to produce a list

of names of persons to be laid off on January 15, and shifting that date to


“Confidence gone again in terms of the Government’s ability to live up

to its word, and that is why I found it curious that men of such esteem

and experience, both of whom are due I believe to retire this year, made

pronouncements,” she said in veiled reference to general secretaries of the

BWU and NUPW, Sir Roy Trotman and Dennis Clarke, respectively -–– who

both announced intentions to step down from their posts in 2014.

“. . . Both of whom are senior leaders, but made pronouncements as

to what action they will not take before the process has been completed,”

Mottley said.

She added: “If it was me, I would not be making pronouncements in the

middle of a process when 90 per cent of all industrial action that happens

comes from a breach of process, not from

the object that you set out to gain . . . .

If the process is still in play, then I cannot tell you what I will not do or I

will do.”

Further, she called on the NUPW leadership to come clean on talks it

has been having with Government, and all it knows about pending layoffs of

public servants.

Referring to a reported statement yesterday by NUPW president Walter

Maloney, claiming success in reducing the number of workers to be sent

home in Government’s planned layoff, she questioned his source of some

figures that were not previously made public.

“People would have concerns when the president of the National Union

of Public Workers said that they have reduced the numbers from 6,000

. . . but that the general secretary of the NUPW said that they have had

no previous discussion other than what took place in the environs of the

ministerial statement, when only the 3,000 was called.”

Mottley questioned how NUPW president Walter Maloney acquired

information that Government’s original plan was to lay off 6,000 workers.

“He must explain this to the public, not to me, not the Labour Party, but

he must understand that that is why people now are so nervous about every

statement that is made in their interest on the part of the unions.” (GA)

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